This is a book that I started reading back in September... okay, by that I mean the second time reading the book was started in September 2011. I actually read the book originally back when I was in junior high. I decided to read it again because there were certain parts that I remembered and I wanted to get a peak at some middle grade books. It's interesting what I did remember and what I had forgotten.
About the Book: (from goodreads) "Ellen awakens one morning with a mysterious silver crown on the pillow beside her. What magic powers it possesses she has not yet discovered, but the sudden changes in her life are unmistakable: her house is burned down, her family has disappeared, and a man in a dark uniform is stalking her. Can Ellen ever find her family? Can she use the power of the silver crown to thwart the powers of darkness? What diabolical force hides inside the mysterious castle in the woods?"
About the Author: Robert Leslie Conly (also known by his pen name, Robert C. O'Brien) was an American author and a journalist for National Geographic Magazine. He is known for books including Z for Zachariah and the amazing tale of Mrs. Frisby and the Rats of NIMH.
Overall Impression: This is an older book but still rather good. There were parts that I remembered from when I first read it back in junior high-ish, since I can't remember exactly when I read it. I remembered perfectly the very beginning of the story, how she discovers the crown and the little pretend court she holds away from her house. I remembered the boy that the main character meets in the story who then travels with her and the mind control that they discover. But I didn't remember the cop killing that happens in the beginning and many other elements. Still enjoyed reading the story.
Second Reads: Like with reading any book a second time (and you'll get more about this when I review the first two books from The Wheel of Time series) there are interesting elements to reading a familiar story. Even in middle grade, there are things that I noticed now that I may not have caught onto the first time reading. But one of the things that makes a really good book is the ability to read more than once and still enjoy the story. Even though I've read the book before, I am older and all of that, there were still parts where I reacted and parts where I wanted to know what happened next. And that is a good sign.
Reading as a Writer: The main thing I felt that was different this time around wasn't so much my age, but now that I am writing and doing editing/acquisition for a small publisher, I look at books I read differently. I can't help but notice things, like a well planned "info dump" done in a way to make it fit into the story. Sometimes the phrasing distracted me a little bit when it came to certain sentences but those were very small moments and didn't happen very often. I see those things more now than I used to and that's okay.
Wednesday, January 18, 2012